2012 Terra Sancta "Estate" Pinot Noir Bannockburn Central Otago (Elsewhere $25)

SKU #1226495 93 points James Suckling

 A super bright wine in the glass, this has a pristine bright red and dark cherry nose, really neatly expressed, there's an undercurrent of dark toasted spice here too. The palate delivers tangy acid freshness that drives bright cherry flavour, tannins roll in with delicious grainy texture, builds nicely to the finish. Great wine.  (4/2014)

92 points Wine & Spirits

 Blended from the varied blocks at this Bannockburn estate, this 2012 shows a spark of mineral power that cuts through the kind of oaky scent a young grand cru Burgundy might offer. It’s peppery black, with rooty tannins that tighten around the fruit in a fist. An elemental, fresh, ripe wine from Central Otago.  (10/2015)

91 points Bob Campbell

 Lovely perfumed aroma with cherry, plum, spice and subtle savoury nuances. There is also a suggestion of raspberry and spicy oak. Well structured wine with moderately firm tannins.  (3/2014)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright medium red. Complex perfume of dark cherry, raspberry, earth, herbs, lavender, sandalwood and woodsmoke. Supple but juicy and tangy, with terrific spicy, peppery, herbal lift from a percentage of whole-cluster vinification. Lovely subtle sweetness and definition to the sappy raspberry and red cherry fruit flavors. Finishes with firm but fine-grained tannins and excellent energy and spicy length. This winery was only established in 2011.  (9/2014)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Pale to medium ruby-colored, the 2012 Pinot Noir possesses notes of mulberries and red plums with underlying aromas of forest floor, black pepper and dirt. Medium-bodied and quite elegantly fruited on the palate, it has a low level of soft tannins, just enough acid and a medium to long finish. (LPB)  (10/2013)

K&L Notes

These grapes are handpicked from the same blocks that produce their rare single block wines. The Terra Sancta "Estate" range gives a true picture of the entire estate vineyard. A wine of many layers, it has hints of the opulence of Slapjack Block, the perfume of Jackson’s Block, and the exotic and sensual flavors of Shingle Beach. The wine’s fragrance is that of the estate itself: lavender and thyme. The flavors come direct from the soils - the luxury of dark cherries, fresh raspberries, and first picked plums. The texture is silk, the finish complex.

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Staff Image By: Steve Bearden | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/11/2016 | Send Email
This is a supple wine with layered texture and very fine tannin on the detailed finish. Very earthy aromas and flavors of cherries and plums and a potpourri of savory herbs and wild flowers fill the mid-palate and seem to expand as the wine takes on air. This is nuanced, compelling and amazingly complex for the money. in a market saturated with over priced Pinots that under deliver this is a bargain.

Staff Image By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/10/2016 | Send Email
This is a slightly bigger more intense expression than the Mysterious Diggings. Brighter, snapper fruits veer more towards cherry. More polish, more length, and a little more breadth across the palate.

Staff Image By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/22/2016 | Send Email
What a smoking deal we have to offer on these Terra Sancta wines from Central Otago! The "Estate" bottling comes from the properties central Bannockburn blocks right in the heart of the village. These blocks contain some of the oldest vines in Central Otago, planted in very high density and still on their original roots. The "estate" bottling has more density and mid-palate flesh than the lighter, brighter "Mysterious Diggings" bottling. There is darker, sweeter fruit here, very soft velvet tannin structure, mountain thyme, baking spices, sandalwood and truffle. A fine precision in the finish and lingering minerals showcase Central Otago's schist and clay soils. Simply stunning at this one time direct price.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Dave Genevro | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/3/2016 | Send Email
Plush, herbs, with ripe red fruits. Great structure with life and lift.

Staff Image By: Jim Chanteloup | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/3/2015 | Send Email
Central Otago has grown to be one of the premier regions in New Zealand for Pinot Noir, and this is a great value and introduction to the region. This estate bottling has a bouquet of boysenberry, dark cherry, earth, dried orange peel and a hint of forest floor and thyme. On the palate there is tangy acidity with silky supple tannins and a persistent finish.

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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

New Zealand

- New Zealand is an extremely diverse wine-growing nation. The long history of producing wine started in the 1830s with wineries such as Mission Estate (1850) and Te Mata Estate (1896) still producing wine today. The two islands hold a multitude of different growing climates ranging from warmer areas such as Hawke’s Bay to very cool regions such as Waitaki, and Awatere. Most regions are defined as Maritime with the exception being Central Otago that has a moderate Continental climate with the high elevation creating dramatic diurnal swings in temperature. The plethora of grapes grown in New Zealand reflects this diverse microclimate make up. Everything has a place here, Bordeaux varietals and Syrah in Hawke’s Bay, Chardonnay and Pinot in Nelson, Pinot Noir and Riesling in Central Otago , aromatic whites in Waipara and pretty much everything you can imagine in Marlborough. New Zealand is also one of the “greenest” wine producing nations on earth (94% of wine certified sustainable in 2013) with a strong focus on organic and Biodynamic farming.